As NFL owners and players continue to take self-importance to dizzying and nauseating heights by trying to figure out a way to equitably divvy up a ten-figure financial pie, there’s a fairly significant question mark as to whether at least a portion of the pro season will be lost due to the labor strife.
While common sense would seem to dictate that it would be beyond asinine for the pro game to head down the same destructive path as Major League Baseball, the dollars and cents at stake have clouded the thinking of most involved and could result in the loss of Sunday football for a sizable chunk of the fall. If that indeed comes to fruition, and a Sunday football void is created, would college football step in to fill it? At least one BcS-level is not closing the door on a weekend shift.
Speaking to Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott admits the NFL’s labor situation is something his conference is keeping an eye on, and that moving some games to Sunday would certainly be a possibility. It doesn’t appear, however, to be something that’s on their front-burner at this time, if for nothing more than the utter uncertainty swirling around big brother’s situation.
“We certainly are monitoring the situation,” Scott said. “We have no plans in place at this time, but you want to be prepared and consider all options. Still, these labor situations have a way of getting done the closer they get to a critical situation.”
CFT has spoken to several school officials over the past couple of months regarding the possibility of moving games from Saturday to Sunday, and everyone has sang the same tune as Scott: it’s something that’s been discussed and will certainly stay on the table as a viable option if the path the NFL’s taking leads to games being cancelled.
Certainly the exposure for the college game would be tremendous, but the logistics involved in moving games to Sunday — from television contracts to fans and their travel plans, and everything in between — make such an endeavor more than simply a matter of snapping one’s fingers and making it happen. Still, people involved in the game are keeping an open mind to the possibility.
“We haven’t had anybody approach us with that,” Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne said. “Thursday night football hasn’t been around forever, and we adjusted to that. Sunday is a day a lot of people look to watch football. You would get good exposure.
“But Sunday games would be something we would have to think long and hard about before we jumped into.”
While there would be a few hurdles to navigate, we would strongly urge college teams to very seriously consider Sunday games if the NFL’s dumb and/or selfish enough to start canceling portions of their season. It would be difficult to put a price on the positive exposure the college game would receive by jumping into the Sunday afternoon/evening football window created by the NFL’s stupidity, and schools should jump through whatever hoops necessary to make the change happen if the opportunity presents itself.